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Cost Recovery, Equity, and Efficiency in Water Tariffs: Evidence from African Utilities

rapport May 2008 ; 52 pages
Aut. Sudeshna Ghosh Banerjee & Vivien Foster & Heather Skilling & Quentin Wodon & Yvonne Ying
AICD - Washington
Téléchargeable sous format: PdF (450 ko)
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Water and sanitation utilities in Africa operate in a high-cost environment. They also have a mandate to at least partially recover their costs of operations and maintenance (O&M). As a result, water tariffs are higher than in other regions of the world. The increasing block tariff (IBT) is the most common tariff structure in Africa. Most African utilities are able to achieve O&M cost recovery at the highest block tariffs, but not at the first-block tariffs, which are designed to provide affordable water to low-volume consumers, who are often poor. At the same time, few utilities can recover even a small part of their capital costs, even in the highest tariff blocks. Unfortunately, the equity objectives of the IBT structure are not met in many countries. The subsidy to the lowest tariff-block does not benefit the poor exclusively, and the minimum consumption charge is often burdensome for the poorest customers. Many poor households cannot even afford a connection to the piped water network. This can be a significant barrier to expansion for utilities. Therefore, many countries have begun to subsidize household connections. For many households, standposts managed by utilities, donors, or private operators have emerged as an alternative to piped water. Those managed by utilities or that supply utility water are expected to use the formal utility tariffs, which are kept low to make water affordable for low-income households. The price for water that is resold through informal channels, however, is much more expensive than piped water.
1 The conflicting goals of tariff design 1
2 An overview of WSS tariffs in Africa 2
3 Do tariffs recover costs? 9
4 Do tariffs provide efficient price signals? 13
5 Are tariffs equitable? 13
6 A scorecard of tariff performance 23
7 Conclusions 24
8 References 26
Annex A Characteristics of water utilities and service providers 27
Annex B Categories of water tariff structure in African utilities 29
Annex C Tariffs by level of water consumption 30
Annex D Water tariffs in African utilities 31
Annex E Structure and levels of nonresidential tariffs 33
Annex F Structure of wastewater tariffs 35
Annex G O&M cost per unit of consumption 37
Annex H Cost recovery of African utilities 39
Annex I Structure of tariffs for standposts and public fountains 41
Annex J Scorecard on cost recovery, efficiency, and equity in tariff structure 43

Mot clef:

coûts, prix, tarifs (CI) (DT) (OP)


AICD - Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic - Washington - Etats Unis

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